Olympic athletes help Virgin strike gold at the Games

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The Independent Online

Virgin Media got a double boost from record TV viewing during the Olympics and the decision to recruit top athletes such as Mo Farah and Usain Bolt, pictured, in its advertising.

The telecoms and pay-TV giant has persuaded significant numbers of new and existing customers to spend more on superior home entertainment, despite the tough economy. The number of subscribers now taking super-fast broadband of 30Mb or higher is 1.8 million, up 453,000 in the quarter. Almost half of the new broadband customers are taking at least 50Mb, which costs from £25 a month against £14.50 for a cheaper package.

An extra 206,000 also signed up to TiVo, Virgin's premium pay-TV service that allows viewers to search and recommend shows, taking total TiVo users to 1.14 million.

"You can see the power of good media over a fab network for happy customers," said chief financial officer Eamonn O'Hare.

Virgin made a pre-tax profit of £124m in the quarter against a £74m loss a year ago.